The Short of It
During a popular eye surgery in the 1980s and 1990s, known as Radial Keratotomy, incisions were made into the cornea of a person’s eyes with a diamond knife. As many as 32 incisions could be made to improve the individual’s vision. The surgery was touted as safe and effective. However, no proper scientific assessment of long-term safety and efficacy was conducted.
The Long of It
Now decades later, RK patients are returning to their ophthalmologists with loss of vision—vision worse than before the surgery. Some are of an age where cataracts have developed and surgery to remove the cataracts is necessary.
Persons needing cataract surgery, who have had RK, are told the surgery is unpredictable due to the RK.
1. Try the cataract surgery and hope for the best.
2. See the world through a blur the rest of your life and maybe eventually go blind.
The whole scenario reads like a science fiction thriller or at the very least a conspiracy theory.
People spent thousands of dollars to have the surgery done, dreaming of a better tomorrow where they could see the world clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts.
They were told the procedure was safe. No risks.
The people believed.
Now, those believers have vision worse than before the RK surgery. And they take numerous risks getting the needed cataract surgery.
You see, those tiny incisions can tear during the gentlest of cataract procedures creating any number of devastating outcomes like iris damage or difficulty in closing the corneal incision.
Conspiracy Theory: Eye doctors—too greedy for money—didn’t do the necessary research to prevent such an outcome.
Science Fiction scenario: People paid for the privilege to be used as lab rats in a barbaric procedure in which the cornea of their eyes were slashed. They were lied to and misinformed. Years later they suffer from loss of vision and blindness. Now they are told they need another surgery. Do they believe the same group of people who lied to them before?
So why am I talking about this in today’s blog? Because I am one of those unfortunate lab rats.
I go in for surgery April 21 and on May 5. If I make typos or miss a blog or two, please forgive me. It’s my eyes you see.
I have battled poor eyesight most of my life. And I find it a bit horrifying to be back in the war and losing.
(ProbeNote: If you are considering Lasik surgery, which is advertised as safer, be wary, it carries many of the same risks as RK. Click on risks to be taken to an in-depth article on the risks of Lasik.)
I’ve read a lot of material on how to improve my blog. One thing that is suggested by Kristen Lamb is to make the material in your blog high concept—meaning give the reader something to take away on a universal human level.
Five things I learned from being a lab rat.
1. Don’t believe everything the experts tell you.
2. Do your own research.
3. Ask questions. Lots. Until the experts’ ears bleed.
4. Ask yourself: “Is this necessary or can I live without it?”
5. Ask: What improvement do I see it making in my life?
Bonus # 6—Higher concept from my dear friend Gloria, who died of breast cancer: If the answer in your decision making process isn’t an automatic yes! Than it’s no.
How many times have humans been lab rats and didn’t know it? Like every time there is a new flu bug, perhaps? I wonder?
- Naale Baa Urban Legend - March 10, 2023
- The Rake Urban Legend - February 23, 2023
- The Russian Sleep Experiment Urban Legend - February 10, 2023
Myk Pilgrim says
That’s pretty intense C, can’t say I’ve ever been a lab rat – although had a less than fun experience with trying to get a prostate exam. (but that’s a tale for another time)
I’ve never had any direct dealings with eye doctoring but I did meet a gent who told me that he’d completely lost the sight in his one eye after a botched ‘by the book’ surgery.
Have never forgotten it, then on the other side I know other folks who’ve gone in for lasik and had an extra 20 years use out of their peepers.
Either way it scares the crap out of me, take my hat off to you going ahead with it.
May join you in the lab rat camp in the next few years.
Oh please, do tell of the prostate exam. Leave no detail unexplored. I’m sure you will make it hilarious. And frightening. Do a guest blog. It would fit right into the theme of The Probe!
Thank you for the vote on going ahead. Luckily it all worked out well—very well—for me. But keep your eyes healthy. Lots of carrots. And never volunteer to be a Lab Rat like me. Hugs.